27 February 2010
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• Earthquake measuring 8.8 struck north of Concepcion on Sat 27th Feb
The British Red Cross has released £50,000 from their Disaster Fund to support the efforts of the Chilean Red Cross to respond to the earthquake.
Pete Garratt, British Red Cross Disaster Relief Manager said:
“We are already receiving reports of damage and an increasing death toll from areas 250km from the epicentre. We anticipate the situation in the worst affected areas closer to the epicentre to be much more serious. Our fear is that this quake will have had large scale impact.”
“The Chilean Red Cross are experienced in reacting to natural disasters and we are making this immediate release of funds to support their relief efforts.”
As part of the International Red Cross Movement, the Chilean Red Cross has volunteers and staff trained to respond in the aftermath of disasters. In 2007, when an earthquake measuring 7.7 struck the northern coast, the Chilean Red Cross provided mobile medical units, emergency food packs, hygiene kits and psychological support. The Chilean Red Cross is also a member of the National Commission for Civil Protection in Chile, the body set up to co-ordinate disaster relief responses between government and other agencies.
The Chilean Red Cross are also supported by PADRU, the Pan American Disaster Relief Unit, based in Panama.
To donate to the British Red Cross disaster relief fund go to: http://www.redcross.org.uk/56493_SpotChileDF/disasterfund
Notes to editors
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on
with their lives.